If you’ve ever seen the 1968 Disney film “The Love Bug,” then you should appreciate the Steph Curry 2 Low shoes. In case you haven’t, here’s a quick rundown: The plot centers around a guy named Jim and his race car, a 1963 Volkswagen Beetle named Herbie. Ol’ Herbie isn’t a pretty car, but he’s a quick little fella, and regularly beats cars that look much faster than him.
Near the end of the movie, Jim is about to trade in Herbie for a Lamborghini 400GT, but then he realizes that Herbie is all he needs.
They enter a race, and against overwhelming odds, they win.
The moral of the story is that champions sometimes come in an unassuming package. So why all the Internet hate for the Steph Curry 2 Lows?
When images of the new Under Armour-designed shoes surfaced on Thursday, the Internet immediately started slandering them, saying they look like old-man shoes. Within hours, they got the “Crying Jordan” treatment.
And, sure they might look like a pair of New Balance 527s crossed with a melted ice cream sandwich. Yes, they look like something Mitt Romney wears when he mows the front lawn. However, we’re missing the point: The new Steph Curry 2 Lows are a regular-looking shoe, and Stephen Curry is a regular-looking dude. It’s a perfect match.
From a fashion standpoint, sure, they’re what your mom puts on when she drives to Panera Bread. Regular old sneakers. “And if you're going to be the game's best player,” style writer Jake Woolf wrote in a post on GQ’s site, these shoes "ain't gonna cut it.” Sure, in a fashion sense.
However, we shouldn’t look at these shoes as fashion.
It is only when you look at the Steph Curry 2 Lows as a postmodernist critique of consumer culture and the cult of the celebrity athlete that you realize that you are looking at a masterpiece.
That is: These new Steph Curry 2 Lows are not a flashy slam dunk. We have Jordans for that. They are a functional, well-executed 38-foot pull-up three-pointer, right when the team needs it.
Nothing says, “Hand me that wrench, son,” better than a pair of Steph Curry 2 Lows. Nothing says, “I packed you a lunch,” better than a pair of those good old Currys.
Steph Curry 2 Lows are the footwear version of those viral videos where an old man goes to play soccer and whips everyone, then pulls off his costume and it’s the street soccer freestyle champion of the world. Steph Curry 2 Lows are the shoes you want when you have to tend the grill at the family cook-out, but you still gotta show these young boys that you still got it on the court.
Steph Curry 2 Lows are the shoes you want when you're a registered nurse, but ball is life. So you take a long lunch break to hoop in the parking lot.
What? Are you gonna wear a pair of Jordans to your meeting with those millionaires you're hoping will invest in your new start-up? Gonna strap on those Ferragamos when it's time to meet your significant other's parents?
No. You're going to slip on a pair of lightly scuffed, loosely tied Steph Curry 2 Lows. That's what you wear when you want to put people at ease. They'll see your footwear and nod knowingly, because the Steph Curry 2 Lows say: "I might not be flashy but I'm reliable. I'm a team player. I get the job done. Every time."
Just like the real Steph Curry.
Remember, we were guilty of underestimating Curry, too. Back in 2009, scouts said he was “far below NBA standard,” and that he needed to “add some muscles to his upper body.” But despite the doubters, he’s now one of the best players in the game. And now everyone loves him because we see ourselves in him. Cheering for him is like cheering for the underdog. We can imagine ourselves in his shoes.
Of course, this is completely delusional. We can’t be like Steph Curry. He is supremely, almost inhumanly, good. His success is a combination of raw talent and hard work that 99% of the population is not willing to put in.
But the Steph Curry 2 Lows bring us closer to that escapist fantasy. They remind us that Steph Curry is only human. That sometimes we spill ketchup on our shirt, and that’s OK because I bet you Steph Curry does it, too.
The Steph Curry 2 Lows are not a basketball shoe. They are a wearable reminder that looks don’t matter. It’s what is on the inside that counts.
I’m pre-ordering my pair now.
Follow me @dexdigi for more postmodernist shoe advice.